The majority of businesses don’t think their marketing and PR teams are capable of proving ROI. Clearly something is amiss, then, given ROI just needs solid PR measurement.
The results of recent Fortune 1000 C-Suite surveys by Proof Analytics back up what we said last week. 96% of respondents said PR and marketing teams were ‘unable or unwilling’ to prove ROI. By extension this also includes agency partners.
One of the main problems is an apparent disagreement between marcomms professionals and the rest of a business. Specialists within our field often see ROI as a finance ploy to legitimise budget cuts. In contrast, business leaders believe marketing and PR have “played an important or very important role in the growth, health and prosperity of their business.”
But while they see marketing and PR as highly valuable business drivers, 90% claim to be frustrated at the lack of ROI evidence from marketing and PR teams. And they’re also fearful of their tendency to cut budgets as a result of lacking evidence.
Getting ahead of the pack
Marketing and PR budgets are expected to see further cuts in 2019. Overall, 72% of the businesses Proof Analytics consulted plan to rein-in spend by 10% or more next year.
This is where PR measurement can help. Focus on proving ROI in ways that are relatable to wider business objectives and goals and those cuts might not happen. After all, there is a strong belief PR and marketing is vital, the issue is a lack of clarity on value. Improve PR measurement, tacking to business objectives agreed between marcomms and the wider company, and you will evidence cause and effect.
The industry is about to catch up
Things are already changing, and not necessarily for the better. Finance departments are being given more control over marketing spend, and friction can arise if creatives are still unable or unwilling to prove worth in fiscal terms.
87% of those in the Proof Analytics surveys said they saw determining marketing impact as a major board or C-level discussion. 64% are looking at new value-based approaches to advertising, digital and PR agency compensation.
Put simply, PR measurement and marketing ROI are becoming business priorities. The time to act is now.
The rewards are there for the taking (with good PR measurement in place)
All sides of businesses are agreed on the importance of PR and marketing. All sides want their business to continue growing. What the various sides don’t agree on is how ROI should be judged, but ultimately tangible business value will win out.
Smoking Gun was established during a very different time for PR measurement. We were one of the first agencies to contest Advertising Value Equivalents. We have always supported proving ROI in relation to real business impact. We have won awards from multiple bodies for setting new standards in PR measurement.
In short, sector leaders such as ourselves have long since moved to more effective PR measurement. As such those that continue to stand still are taking a very dangerous risk indeed.